US celebrity praises Kiwi's 'heroic' Covid-19 actions

Author
Julia Gabel, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 Nov 2020, 9:32AM
Blake Lively with Ryan Reynolds. The duo donated a big sum of money to US and Canadian food banks. Photo / file
Blake Lively with Ryan Reynolds. The duo donated a big sum of money to US and Canadian food banks. Photo / file

US celebrity praises Kiwi's 'heroic' Covid-19 actions

Author
Julia Gabel, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Fri, 20 Nov 2020, 9:32AM

An A-list Hollywood celebrity has praised a Kiwi businessman for his "heroic" actions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

American actor Blake Lively, the star of the hit show Gossip Girl, called her Kiwi friend Nick Mowbray for help in May when nappy stocks in the United States were running low.

Lively told her 27.8 million followers today on Instagram how Mowbray sent more than 265,000 nappies to diaper banks and hospitals in New York and Texas.

"Back in May, I called my friend Nick Mowbray," she said on Instagram.

Nick Mowbray helped out famous friend Blake Lively in May. Photo / File

Nick Mowbray helped out famous friend Blake Lively in May. Photo / File

"The US was hit hard, not only with Covid-19 but with low stock on basic needs. He works with my favourite diaper Rascal and Friends. Within a few days, he and his team shipped over 265,000 diapers to diaper banks and hospitals in NY and Texas. For free."

But it didn't stop there.

Mowbray, who co-founded Zuru Toys, sent more than 20,000 toys to children in hospital in New York, Lively said.

"I was gutted to read about kids living in hospitals unable to have visitors because of the Covid-19 outbreak. This was peak NY lockdown. Nick Mowbray also started Zuru Toys so I asked for anything they could send as well."

Blake Lively thanks Kiwi businessman Nick Mowbray for his generosity. Photo / supplied

Blake Lively thanks Kiwi businessman Nick Mowbray for his generosity. Photo / supplied

"Within those same few days, he and his team sent over 20,000 Zuru Toys to NY for those children, as well as children in areas which were being hit the hardest in every way. Again. He did this at his own cost."

Mowbray and his team also sent 20,000 face masks and sanitiser to New York hospitals when both were impossible to come by, she said.

"These actions were heroic. This effort spanned three continents. And took countless people's work. From the people making the supplies. To the people packaging them. To the people donating them. To the teams in NY receiving them. To the teams distributing them. To the heroic work of the essential workers once they received these lifesaving tools.

The actor said she was reflecting on the "silent act of care and community".

"I felt incredibly grateful".

The actor and her famous husband, Ryan Reynolds, donated US$1 million ($1.45m) to US and Canadian food banks in March.

In an Instagram post, Lively said she split the money between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.